Monday, 12 August 2013

Asparagus and smoked cheese salad

This is a very simple but tasty salad.  I put lettuce, spinach, red pepper, cucumber and spring onion in a bowl. Then added some smoked soya cheese chunks.  I then blanched some asparagus tips and drained and put on top then covered with freshly ground black pepper.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Strawberry and vanilla shortbread

This is my normal shortbread recipe with a teaspoon each of vanilla essence and strawberry flavouring. I wasn't sure if the flavour would work but judging by how quickly they were eaten it obviously did.

Spicy mushrooms with spinach salad

This is such a quick lunch but really full of flavour.  I lined the bottom of a bowl with spinach. Then I fried chopped mushrooms with cherry tomatoes and spring onion. I added some italian herbs and chilli powder for some flavour. Then I served it with some soya cheese sprinkled on top and some freshly ground black pepper.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Fried Marrow

I cut the marrow into small chunks and fried in vegetable oil until it started to brown. Then I added a covering of ground almonds, some finely chopped garlic and some salt.  Stirred it all together till it was crispy and served with raw fresh peas.

Noodles and Stir Fry

This is just a stir fry of onion, red peppers, fresh peas, cashew nuts and mushrooms with wholemeal noodles.

This meal takes about 10 minutes to make and can be seasoned with soya sauce, black pepper or sweet chilli sauce.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Birthday Cake

For this cake I used this recipe:

and simply added more flour instead of the cocoa powder.  I split it into two tins and when it was cooked left the two cakes to cool.  Then I put one half on a plate and covered with strawberry jam. The other half I added butter cream then I sandwiched them together.  I then put more cream on the top and added vegan sprinkles.

The buttercream was made by mixing Trex and icing sugar.

Spicy pepper and beans

Chop and small onion and fry in olive oil with some italian dried herbs.  Add two green peppers chopped quite small.  When they are startimg to brown  add a tin of red kidney beans (drained) and 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped). Then add one large chopped tomato and a quarter of a courgette, also chopped.

Season with salt, chilli powder and black pepper.

Sweet Coleslaw

This quick coleslaw takes just minutes to put together.
Take one medium carrot and grate it, add an eighth of a grated cucumber and one small grated apple.  Sprinkle on some lemon juice and serve.

If the coleslaw is to be kept for later then soak the grated apple in water with a few drops of lemon juice added for 5 mins before draining and adding to the salad to stop it going brown.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Simple Lunch

I often find that lunchtime is when I have least time to make food so just grab something easy out of the fridge.  Today I have had Redwood cheatin' ham with Sainsbury cheap sweet pickle in the middle.  Quick but also tasty and filling!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Which dinner would you choose?

Today I made the kids a dinner of vegetarian choice sausages, mashed potato and baked beans.

I made myself an aubergine and mixed vegetable curry which contained courgettes, mushrooms, tomatoes, mixed herbs, paprika, chilli, curry powder and turmeric.

Which do you think you would choose to have?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Oaty chocolate bites

This morning I made a chocolatey treat for my son. I mixed together the following ingredients:

1tsp peanut butter
1tsp margarine (melted)
1tsp cocoa powder
1tsp agave syrup
4 tsp oats

I mixed it well and he ate it with a spoon, but if I made a bigger quantity I would have rolled into balls and put in the fridge for later.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


This isn't my recipe but I had to share it as it made delicious shortbread that everyone enjoyed:

Next time I think I will coat them in chocolate or add some flavour like lemon or vanilla.

Lovely texture.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Banana Milk Shake

This milk shake was made from real milk, not from cows though, from humans. I used 150ml of breast milk with a banana and blended them up.  Was a bit strange drinking my own milk, but it worked!

Monday, 3 June 2013


The lack of recipes on the site is mainly due to trying to organise events and design a new website for the Shropshire Veggies and Vegans group. However, I'm still cooking and will have some new recipes soon.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Trying to save a baby rabbit

Our cat often brings in dead rabbits and mice to the house and eats them.  It's pretty horrible as a vegan but we accept that it is natural and we can't stop it happening.  Our cat is a feral cat and we couldn't keep him inside.
Today he brought in a live rabbit kitten as a gift for us so we had to decide what to do with it.  I didn't want to release it back o the field where it had come from as chances are the cat would catch it again and it wouldn't be so lucky next time.  My husband didn't want to cage it as that is going against what nature intended.  So we phoned up Cuan House Rescue centre who are going to look after it for a bit then release it into a safe place in the countryside with 2 other kittens they already have. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Lemon cheese cake bites

This is another really quick idea.  I mixed 2 heaped tsps of cream cheese with a few drops of lemon essence and a level tsp of agave syrup and spread the mixture onto oat cakes.

It's not something you could serve up at a dinner party but certainly made a great treat.

Red bean fry up

I needed a really quick meal last night so I opened a tin of red kidney beans a fried them in some chilli infused olive oil along with a finely chopped carrot, green pepper and some garlic. I seasoned it with paprika, salt and some dried mixed herbs.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Fruit Cake

Here is some delicious fruit cake I made. Just a normal sponge cake recipe with mixed spice and sultanas added.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Response from Costa

According to the response I got from Costa all their nutritional information is on their website.
It is very hard to navigate but the hot drinks that are vegan are:

Caffe Latte
Flat White
Caramel Latte
Cinnamon Latte
Gingerbread Latte
Roasted Hazelnut Latte
Vanilla Latte
Sugar Free Caramel Latte

Obviously these are only vegan if you choose the soya milk option (if there is milk). Hope this is helpful. Rather disappointing to me as my favourites that I thought were vegan - Chai Latte and Hot Chocolate aren't.

If you want a summary of the nutritional information that I have been emailed from Costa which is much easier to use, please let me know.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Simple and Delicious

You could hardly describe this as a recipe, but a current favourite of mine is cooked apples with sultanas, covered in soya cream.  I simply take a large bramley apple, core and peel and cut up into small squares. Then I add a tiny amount of water and microwave it until it is soft and smooth in texture. Then wait for it too cool (even better if it has been in the fridge overnight) and serve with soya cream.  Lovely, and healthy too!

Friday, 19 April 2013


I am pleased that coffee shops such as Costa offer soya milk options for their drinks. However, their web site says that none of their drinks are vegan. I am assuming that is because of a risk of cross contamination of cows milk. I have emailed them to find out as I do like their hot chocolate and chai so wouldn't want to find out they aren't suitable for vegans.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Cranberry Orange Biscotti

Gluten Free Recipes - Elana's PantryThe site Elanas Pantry is primarily low carb but it does contain some vegan recipes too and this one appealed to my sweet tooth:

cranberry orange biscotti

Chocolate Orange Brownie

I would love to claim the recipe for this fantastic brownie to myself, but in fact my daughter bought it for me from a vegan cake stall in Shrewsbury Market Hall this morning. The website for the talented cook is
You can order online and I would highly recommend buying some.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Fresh Fruit and Veg

I bought loads of lovely fresh fruit and veg from our local greengrocer.  Already munched my way through some juicy raspberries (with soya cream as were a bit sour), two plums and have cooked up some apples with sultanas for later.  Dinner was lovely purple sprouting with shallots, mushrooms and garlic.  Still have some crunchy apples, bananas, salad, kiwi fruit and carrots left.

Feeling rather like the very hungry caterpillar!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Spicy Potato Squares

After frying my marinated tofu earlier I was left with some vegetable oil full of the spicy marinade.  The rest of the family had jacket potatoes today and there was a small one left, so I cut it into cubes and fried it in the spicy oil.  The spices worked really well with the sweetness of the potato and I think it would have been even nicer with a sweet potato.

Spicy Tofu Stir Fry

I marinated tofu chunks in soya sauce, paprika, lots of chilli powder and some mixed herbs.  Then I deep fried them so they went crispy.  Meanwhile I chopped onion, green pepper, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.
When the tofu was crispy I fried the onions in olive oil with some garlic and extra chilli. Then added the mushrooms and green peppers.  When they were starting to brown I added the tofu and tomatoes just to warm up a little.

I served mine with some mayo as it was spicier than I intended, but still delicious!

The trouble I have with stir frying food with chilli is that the chilli often catches in the pan and we end up coughing all evening every time we have to go into the kitchen. Any suggestions on how to prevent this from happening?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sweet treat

My current favourite snack is to mix sultanas with peanut butter and some cocoa powder.  If you mix these into small balls and cover in cocoa powder they make great sweets. Put them in sweet cases and refrigerate to make them firmer and easier to eat.  They are very rich though so you won't want too many at a time, and you need to make them fairly small.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Lemon Cake

I made a really quick lemon cake today using rice flour instead of wheat flour.  I didn't measure the ingredients but just put them together until they amounts looked right!

I took about 125g margarine and mixed with sugar.  Then I added rice flour, 1 flat tsp baking powder and 1 heaped tsp of bicarbonate of soda.  I then added 2 tbs of white vinegar, 1 tsp of lemon essence and mixed well. I added soya milk until it made a fairly wet mixture.  I put into a greased oven dish at 180 until a knife came out clean. Then I cut into rectangle shapes and left to cool for about 15 mins until serving.  It was lovely with some soya cream poured on.

Monday, 8 April 2013


Found a fantastic restaurant while we were on holiday that made a great vegan thai curry, however, generally the choice of vegan foods was as disappointing as ever with the choices often being chips, jacket potato and beans or a plain salad.  You would think that with more people being lactose intolerant there would be more vegan options.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Converting more people to Veganism

The idea of this blog is to try to encourage more people to eat vegan food. By showing how simple, but interesting, vegan food can be, the hope is that more people add it to their diet.  However, my ideal aim would be to convert more people to being full time vegans.  I am just not sure how to do this yet. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Evesham Vegan Fair

Very excited today as we are going to the Evesham vegan fair to sample all the delights there.  My kids are particularly looking forward to it as they have never been to anything like that before. I just hope that the snow doesn't keep people away. We have about 10cm here in the places where it wasn't cleared from yesterday and even deeper where it has drifted but I don't think they have had as much down there. It is still snowing here too, my trees are starting to bow down under the weight of the snow, and the cat is going mad around the house as he doesn't like going out in it.

Simple but Tasty Dinner

I had some purple sprouting to use up, and as I love fried broccoli thought this might be nice fried as well. So I added some mushrooms and fried it in vegetable oil. After cooking I just put on some salt and pepper and ate with some mayo.  Quick, simple and tasty!  Would probably have been even better with some garlic.

Chill Tofu Fingers

I thought it would be nice to have something to warm me up for lunch today, so I marinated some sliced tofu with olive oil, mixed herbs, paprika, salt and chilli powder. Then I fried them until they were crispy.

They were lovely and warmed me up after walking through a blizzard this morning, but maybe I shouldn't have eaten them all myself, feeling rather full now!!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Brownies part 2

I forgot to say in the first part that I also put 2 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon full of baking powder.

They came out really well. After cooling for half an hour the edge of the tray had lovely crispy brownies and the middle had softer ones, so something to suit everyone.

Brownies Part 1

I have never eaten chocolate brownies but thought it was about time I tried to make some, but to make it even harder for myself I thought I would make them wheat free too.

I made a mixture of pure soya margarine and sugar and then added some rice flour, vanilla essence and cocoa powder and mixed up with some soya milk. I ended up with a texture similar to ice cream. I then spread it on a greased tray and have put it in the oven at 180.

I didn't measure quantities of ingredients so will probably never be able to reproduce this recipe but hopefully it will come out well.  I will report back on how they turned out with a photo of the finished product in about half an hour!!

Snacks for Baby

My youngest boy is nearly a year old now and starting to take a lot more interest in food. However, finding non-processed snacks to take out with us can be a problem.  He can share a piece of fruit with his brother, but cutting it up can be a problem. Soft fruits are great, but very costly at this time of year. I often end up resorting to using fruit bars, oat based  cereal bars or crackers.  I think I need to start making my own cereal bars but I always have trouble getting them to stick together as I don't use any sugar in them.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Recommended Blog

If you haven't found this blog yet you must give it a try. Deliciously Ella contains loads of fab healthy (mostly) vegan recipes that look lovely and taste delicious.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Good reasons to be vegan

Today another good reason to be vegan has been discovered.  It has been found that women who suffered from breast cancer were more likely to die after treatment if they ate dairy products.  See the article below for more details:

Sunday, 17 March 2013


My husband has been making cakes this evening and they smell delicious!

He has used this recipe

but made them into individual cakes. Some have walnuts added, some chilli jam, some raisins and some peanuts.  I have been tasting a few and there are some really interesting flavours but I think the chilli jam is the best.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

RECIPE: Baseless Pizza

I needed a quick and easy lunch today, but something that would warm me up.  So I thinly sliced two tomatoes and sprinkled mixed herbs and salt on top. Then I grated some soya cheese and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. A very simple baseless pizza.  If I'd had more time I could have added some fried mushrooms, courgettes or any other suitable vegetable or topped with olives.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

RECIPE: Lentil Sauce

I am always on the lookout for ways to add more protein to the meals I cook for my children. So here is my recipe for the pasta sauce I make with hidden lentils.

Boil your red lentils until soft. Chop an onion, green pepper, a few mushrooms and some courgette and fry together with garlic and mixed herbs.  Once the vegetables are soft add the lentils and a tin of chopped tomatoes.  Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a small amount of chilli powder.  This makes a tasty and filling topping for pasta.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Fruity Breakfast

After trying the dried strawberries in my supper last night I decided they might be nice to have for breakfast too. 

I sliced a pink lady apple and put it into a bowl with some of the dried strawberries and some sunflower seeds.  This was delicious with some soya cream poured over it.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Strawberry and vanilla cereal

Before bed I always have a bowl of toasted oats with sultanas and seeds and lots of soya milk.  However I have run out of sultanas and seeds at the moment so was looking for an alternative. The only dried fruit I had was some strawberries so I cut a few up and added them to the toasted oats with some mixed chopped nuts and vanilla essence - delicious.

RECIPE: black eyed bean casserole

Today's dinner needed to be something quick that all the children would eat, that was warming and full of energy so here is what I did.

Take 3 small shallots, peel and chop finely.  Finely chop half a red pepper and a quarter of a green pepper.  Cook all of these in vegetable oil with 1 clove of garlic.  Add some mixed herbs, salt and paprika.  While these are cooking take your pre cooked (or tinned) black eyed beans.  Heat in the microwave for two minutes and then mash up with a potato masher.

When the peppers and onions are nicely softened add a tin of chopped tomatoes, when heated through slowly add the mashed black eyed beans and mix thoroughly.  Serve with couscous and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Vegan cookbook

Well my vegan low carb cookbook kindle version seems to be selling about one copy every day at the moment.  I am really suprised at how popular it is, and really pleased that so many people are interested in using vegan recipes.  If there are any other categories of vegan cooking that you think people might be interested in reading about then let me know as I would be happy to write more.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Herby Popcorn

I saw a recipe online for herby popcorn and thought I would give it a try.  I cooked my popcorn as usual and then added some garlic granules and some Italian seasoning from Julian Graves (this contains sesame seeds and salt as well as herbs). You can still purchase this in Holland and Barrett now Julian Graves has shut down.  It tasted great and certainly didn't last long!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Hotel Chocolat


Decided to treat us all today and went into our local branch of Hotel Chocolat to see what they had on sale. Managed to get a lovely big bar of chocolate with crystalised ginger pieces at half price and buy one get one free. A real delicious bargain. Now just have to stop myself eating it all at once!

They don't have it on their website, but they do have a good selection of vegan chocolate items:

Next time I think I might be trying these, especially as I know the mint ones are delicious!

70% Dark with Ginger Puddles

Thursday, 21 February 2013

RECIPE: Orange Lentil Dahl

Put then lentils in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring back to the boil and simmer until soft, topping up the water when necessary to prevent it from sticking to the pan.

Meanwhile finely chop a small onion, a clove of garlic and 3 small mushrooms.  Fry these gently in a wok with vegetable oil.  Add some mixed herbs, salt and curry powder.  When the lentils are cooked add these to the wok and mix together well then serve.

RECIPE: Mushroom Risotto

Melt some vegan margarine in a saucepan and then add finely chopped onion, garlic and mushrooms and fry gently. Add some stock powder and some precooked rice. I used brown rice but white would work too. Mix well and make sure it is thoroughly warmed through. Then add some grated soya cheese. Mine was a mild cheddar style that is orange in colour hence the golden coloured rice in the photo.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

My favourite Stir Fry

My favourite stir fry is very quick to make but I love how tasty it is.  I simply add chopped onion, garlic, chestnut mushrooms and brocolli (blanched) to a wok and fry in vegetable oil until it starts to brown. 

You can also add cashew nuts for some crunch and protein.

Marinated, deep fried tofu

Start by draining the tofu and cutting into chunks.


 Then create a marinade.  I use a mix of soya sauce, paprika, mixed herbs and garlic powder.

 Put the marinade into a box with a lid. Add the tofu chunks and shake up until the chunks are covered with the marinade. Then put some vegetable oil into a saucepans and heat up.  One it is boiling add the chunks of tofu.

Leave to cook until they are golden brown (I took the ones below out a bit too early as I was short of time, but you get the idea!).

 They are now ready to serve as a side dish or put into your stir fry, thai curry or whatever else you are eating.

RECIPE : baked sweet potato

Take one medium sweet potato and microwave for between 5-10 minutes depending on the size and how powerful your microwave is.  Take it out and remove the skin and mash with margarine and black pepper.  Put into the bottom of a dish and cover with grated soya cheese. Put back in the microwave to melt the cheese then top with spring onions and a bit more cheese. Delicious!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

'What's for Tea Mum, I'm Starving?'

I got this call today when I was in the middle of sorting out all the toys and clothes in my daughters bedroom so wasn't really in a position to cook something exotic.  However, I did know that whatever I cooked it needed to be quick.

In ten minutes I managed to fry some beanburgers while preparing sugar snap peas, red pepper, cucumber slices and sweetcorn to go with them.  The kids loved dipping the veg into soya mayo and the meal was eaten so quickly it didn't keep me long so I could get back to the great tidying job. Fortunately it is finished now!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Friends for Lunch

I had friends over for lunch today and suddenly realised I hadn't planned what we were going to eat so had to improvise based on what I had in the cupboards.

I made two salads - one was a simple salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, yellow pepper and spring onion and the other was sliced apple with soya cheese and walnuts.  With them I served some crackers with cream soya cheese and some oatcakes.  Then I had side dishes of smoked almonds, gherkins and sun dried tomatoes.  The meal seemed to go down well with my non- vegan friends, but next time I hope to be more prepared and give them something a bit more interesting!

Low Carb Vegan Cookbook

I have complied a selection of recipes from that are low in carbohydrates into one handy ebook.  If you are interested in getting a copy of this book they are currently available for the bargain price of £1.99.  Just send a paypal payment to (ensuring you specify what it is for at the bottom of the page) and you will recieve a pdf of the recipe book which contains a short write up of general information on a low carb vegan diet and 40 example recipes including breakfasts, soups, salads, side dishes, mains and sweet treats.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Carrot and Lentil Soup with Coriander

Soup is much quicker and easier to make than most people think, and tastes far better than anything you buy.  Today I had coriander to use up so decided to mix it with carrot as it is one of my favourite combinations.

Take 4 heaped spoonfuls of dried lentils and put into a saucepan with a chopped medium onion and 2 medium sized carrots.  Add stock powder and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 30 mins until the lentils are soft.  I then added garlic powder and chopped coriander and blended with a hand blender until smooth.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


I love Okra but only have a couple of ways that I know how to cook it,  If anyone has any suggestions I would be very grateful.

Vegetable Gumbo is the one way I cook it and the other is just frying it and adding salt and pepper.

Friday, 15 February 2013


Tonight the girls decided they wanted chilli so I made the recipe they both love.

Chop a medium onion and fry in vegetable oil, add a clove of garlic, 1tsp paprika, 1 tsp mixed herbs, pinch salt and enough chilli for your taste.  The add chopped mushrooms and peppers and cook until nice and soft.  Then add frozen tvp and cook until it has defrosted. Then add a drained tin of red kidney beans, a tin of tomatoes and some tomato paste.  I sometimes add sweetcorn at this point too. Leave to simmer until all the ingredients are warmed up and taste to see if you need more salt.

Serve either with rice or in wraps.  When making it with wraps I add various other fillings including some of these: soya mayo, soya cheese, avocado, salsa, finely chopped lettuce and other salad.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Happy Valentines Day

As it is nearly valentines day I will take this opportunity to wish you all a nice day and hope you enjoy cooking for your loved one.  It doesn't really matter what you are making, as if you are cooking with love they will appreciate it and enjoy whatever you make.  If you aren't sure what to make you can never go wrong with chocolate. For a selection of recipes with chocolate go to and search for chocolate.  A good choice is one of my favourites, chocolate muffins.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


As I am an atheist, I don't celebrate pancake day, but for those of you who do here are some recipes:

Blueberry Pancakes
Chick Pea Pancakes
Chicken Style Pancakes
Pancake Pizzas

 Of course you can always just make them with lemon and sugar!


Monday, 11 February 2013

Chocolatey Nutty Oat Bar

This is a real nice mix of ingredients that help to get rid of my chocolate cravings and make me feel full up at the same time.

Firstly I met some margarine in a plastic bowl and add a generous helping of oats.  Mix together with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam, 1 tablespoon of mixed seeds, 1 tablespoon of sultanas and lots of cocoa powder (I like it really chocolatey).

Put into a greased oven proof dish and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees and spoon out the soft, sticky, scrummy mixture.  If you leave to cool you can cut into bars but it rarely lasts that long.